Holy Week solemnity
Santa Fe Mayor Jose Esgana must have known that the scheduled date for the Isla Music Festival falls on a Black Saturday, the tail end of the Holy Week observance that is usually marked by solemnity, processions and Masses.
Yet it appeared that he simply couldn’t resist the lure of profit over tradition and decided to approve the event to the disapproval of the church there which led a rally opposing the event and called to reschedule it to Easter Sunday.
Admittedly, a lot of Catholics would prefer to hang out at the beach and party especially during the summer. But this is the Holy Week, and events like the Isla Music Festival supposedly offer a summer getaway incentive to those wishing to avoid the stuffy heat of the metropolis and party the night away.
Unfortunately for these partygoers, a lot of residents of Santa Fe town take their Holy Week observance seriously and may not take too kindly to having tourists disturbing their solemnity with a music festival that organizers claim won’t disturb the processions and Masses scheduled on Black Saturday.
And they have the mayor on their corner, who castigated parish priest Fr. Roy Bucag for allowing children to join a rally against the music festival.
For his part, the priest has tourism stakeholders who agreed with his stance and said a compromise should be reached.
It’s not known if a compromise can be reached at this point. With so many tourists visiting Santa Fe for the Holy Week respite, a concert could keep them spending in the town long enough before they leave on Easter Sunday for the work week.
But we doubt that Santa Fe is sorely lacking in tourists even after Holy Week, considering that it has the most number of tourist arrivals in the province at more than 40,000 last year.
Again, the Santa Fe municipal tourism office should have known that the date set aside for the event fell on a Black Saturday and could have told the organizers to stage it at some other time.
Then they would have avoided this problem in the first place and not have provincial government officials call on them to reschedule the event at a more convenient time.
Did the Santa Fe officials eventually concede to the organizers’ preference to continue with the event on that date, or did they actually invite them to do so?
Whichever was the scenario, neither the mayor nor them would have anticipated the noise raised against it by the church.
Mayor Esgana may have figured that a concert wouldn’t draw the same amount of vehemence and public disapproval that a bikini open contest held on Bantayan Island also on a Black Saturday in 2009 did.
It’s still not too late, and the Santa Fe municipal government shouldn’t have to lose both income and the respect of its constituents if it reschedules the Isla Music Festival on Easter Sunday.
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